One of the greatest contributors to vulnerability of children around the world is separation from the love, care, and protection of their family. Loss of parental care has many causes. For the millions of children globally who have been—or are at risk of being separated from their families due to poverty, disease, disability, abuse, or any other cause, there are no simple or “one-size-fits-all” solutions. There is, however, a growing body of research and evidence-based guidance to inform the ministries and practice of those seeking to address the needs of orphans and vulnerable children.
In the following pages, through brief narrative and accompanying graphics, A Continuum of Care highlights:
- The importance of family strengthening to prevent separation and to help ensure successful reunification or transition into reliable alternative family care when separation has occurred.
- The critical role of gatekeeping in order to assess the best care options on an individual basis and to reduce unnecessary placement in orphanages.
- The multiple pathways that, with appropriate support, can bring a child back into family care.